Today is 2 February: a day when the Scottish football transfer window has just closed with a flurry of last-minute signings; a day when even the hardiest of Christmas revellers pack away the remains of their decorations; a day to reflect on the time when Christ was presented in the Temple as an infant as recorded in Luke 2:22–40.

The “Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple” marks the day that the old man Simeon took the baby in his arms and recognised him as “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel”, words used each day as part of Evening Prayer.

On 2 February it became the custom to bring a lighted candle to the altar to represent the Christ-light, and to bless all the ‘lights’ or candles in the church, praying that all who saw the outward and visible light would remember also and be blessed by the inner light of Christ “who lightens everyone who comes into the world.”

With similar prayers for blessing in our hearts we’ve been asked to light candles at 7:00pm each Sunday to pray together with other Christians in Scotland, using the prayer specially written by the Scottish Church Leaders Forum which is linked to our Home page. And this month, in their #PrayerfortheNation initiative, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are asking us  to pause and pray every day at 6.00pm for those impacted by the pandemic, with the suggestion that we might light a candle as a prompt to pray.

But our prayers don’t need to be complex or theological in tone. This prayer by Ruth Burgess is suitable for even the youngest:

I light a candle.
A sign that
I know
that God loves me.

I light a candle.
A sign that
I want to walk
with Jesus today.

I light a candle.
A sign that
I want the Holy Spirit
to breathe in me.

I light a candle
and I ask that
God’s love
and God’s glory
may shine through me.

So, go and light that candle!

More poetry on Malcolm Guite’s blog, from which part of this post was adapted, and in Prayers for Lighting Candles by Ruth Burgess, from which the prayer was taken.

Coming up …
  • 1 March 2021 7:00 pm Lent Ecumenical Study Group (Zoom)
  • 2 March 2021 7:00 pm Lent Bible Study - Tenants of the King (Zoom)
  • 4 March 2021 10:15 am Streamed from Holy Trinity
  • 4 March 2021 10:30 am Lent Bible Study
  • 5 March 2021 2:00 pm World Day of Prayer 2021

More details at this link

 

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